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Australian Colour Codes

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  1. #1
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    Default Australian Colour Codes

    Gentlemen (and any Ladies who may be able to respond).
    You may or may not have any interest in this but I am constrained to ask if anyone can give an answer to these questions, hopefully, with a “reference” which may be “quoted”.

    In Australia/NZ, up to a certain point in time, “Twin and Earth” TPS cable was manufactured to contain within it insulated Active (Red) and Neutral (Black) conductors, together with a “stranded” bare “Earth” conductor, which were not then separately insulated.
    Regulations then required that the bare “earth” conductors, after emerging from the TPS, be insulated (in Green) within the confines of the rear of the connecting device.

    At some time (my belief being that it was prior to 1970), it became a requirement that the “Earth” conductor(s) be manufactured with “Green” insulation covering the (previously) bare conductors within the TPS cable.
    Subsequently, (before 1989 ?), the requirement was changed so that the colour of the insulation on the “Earth” conductor was required to be “Green/Yellow”.

    The years for which I have deemed the latest of each of these two “requirements” are 1970 and 1989.
    I am certain that all who read this will enjoy correcting me if I am wrong, as it is probable that I am.

    Please advise, hopefully, with your references!

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    ℱᎾℛUℳ ℂℒᎾᏇℕ PlatypusGardens's Avatar
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    So what's the question?

    whether the years 1970 and 1989 are correct?
    Accident free since yesterday



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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatypusGardens View Post
    So what's the question?

    whether the years 1970 and 1989 are correct?
    Those years are the best "approximations" that I can come up with, knowing when work was done in various premises.

    Does anyone have more exact knowledge of the "dates" when the "requirements" were first applied?

    For example, http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/...lug_tops_0.pdf notes that insulated pins were required for the Active and Neutral pins on 240 V plugs sold from as from 3 April 2005.
    Dates as from when green (and green/yellow) insulated Earth wiring was required must have been published somewhere, presumably in some issue of AS 3000

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    Those years are the best "approximations" that I can come up with, knowing when work was done in various premises.

    Does anyone have more exact knowledge of the "dates" when the "requirements" were first applied?

    For example, http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/...lug_tops_0.pdf notes that insulated pins were required for the Active and Neutral pins on 240 V plugs sold from as from 3 April 2005.
    Dates as from when green (and green/yellow) insulated Earth wiring was required must have been published somewhere, presumably in some issue of AS 3000
    my current home is a 1985 brick/tile construction. All wiring is double insulated twin and earth, earth is insulated also in green/yellow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian7886 View Post
    my current home is a 1985 brick/tile construction. All wiring is double insulated twin and earth, earth is insulated also in green/yellow.
    Thank you for the earlier date concerning Green/Yellow insulation

    Thinking about the use of Green insulation on the Earth Conductor, was it perhaps introduced at the same time as conductor sizes were specified in "Square Millimetres Cross Sectional Area"?
    This may have be about the same time as Standard AS 1155-1974 "Metric Units for Use in the Construction Industry"

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    Gentlemen (and any Ladies who may be able to respond).
    You may or may not have any interest in this but I am constrained to ask if anyone can give an answer to these questions, hopefully, with a “reference” which may be “quoted”.
    Are you doing some history exam?
    I remember twin only and a single bare earth run repeatedly which progressed to clear covered earth then the twin and bare earth followed by twin and green earth to now where we have twin and green/yellow earth. All had similar size overall until recent years when the insulation size reduced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    I remember twin only and a single bare earth run repeatedly which progressed to clear covered earth then the twin and bare earth followed by twin and green earth to now where we have twin and green/yellow earth. All had similar size overall until recent years when the insulation size reduced.
    The reference to "clear covered earth" is interesting. (I have not seen any.)

    Up to and including the "the twin and bare earth", while the dimensions of the conductors would all have been about the same as today (for current carrying capacity reasons) they were expressed in fractions of an inch (diameter) - and in multiples if stranded conductors involved.
    It would not have been until after 12 June 1970 (when the Australian Metric Conversion Act was given assent.) when Metric sized conductors would have been introduced.!

    This is why I am thinking that Green insulated Earth conductors in TPS may have been introduced at about the same time.

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    4 houses that I know the build dates of, and their wiring:
    1966 - twin, with a separate green earth on powerpoints only (added to the light circuit in the 90s).
    1969 - twin with bare earth inside, and no covering where it became exposed once stripped.
    1973 - same as above - twin with bare earth inside - but little green sleeves over the bare earth for an inch or so behind each PP.
    1979 - twin with green insulated earth inside - quite a dark green compared to the modern green.

    So I think you're pretty right with 1970.

    I worked with a few mass-production project builders in the house cleanup crews in the late 80s & early 90s during school/uni holidays, and I always remembered the yellow/green striped earth insulation that we picked up from all manner of nooks & crannies in bathrooms & kitchen cupboards where the fit-out sparkies would just flick it off with the strippers & leave it wherever it ended up. I'd say the yellow/green definitely came in earlier than '89 but probably wasn't legislated fully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by commodorenut View Post
    1966 - twin, with a separate green earth on powerpoints only (added to the light circuit in the 90s).
    I seem to remember a 1961 build having a bare earth included in the sheathing for powerpoints/no earth to lights though. Not sure but the sheathing might have been black (not grey ..edit).

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    Wonder when white became a requirement? Or if it is? Most of the older places I've lived in (60- mid 70s builds) had grey.

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    Thank you phild01 and commodorenut.

    Quote Originally Posted by commodorenut View Post
    Wonder when white became a requirement? Or if it is? Most of the older places I've lived in (60- mid 70s builds) had grey.
    I did think that the "Black" sheathed cables were sheathed in Rubber (and predated the use of thermoplastic. i.e. Post WWII up to the introduction of TPS!)

    While I have not seen Grey TPS sheathed cable here, the UK now uses "an overall sheath of grey PVC (BS 6004), or white for low smoke compound (BS 7211)"

    I realize that you are writing about the sheathing. However, while the three "Phase" colours were Red, Yellow and Blue, they became Red, White and Blue when Green/Yellow insulated Earths were introduced, since Green and Yellow must not now be used to indicate anything except Earth.

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    The black sheathing, as I recall it, had the same look and feel of the white plastic.

    edit
    These cables are almost the universal type of electrical cable used in houses today. They have been in use since the late 1950s.Older TPS cables may have a black outer sheath while more modern cables have generally grey or white sheaths. Orange sheathedTPS cables are generally more common in industrial installations.

    http://icanz.org.au/wp-content/uploa...4.2016-WEB.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    The reference to "clear covered earth" is interesting. (I have not seen any.)
    It wasn't around for long as it was between bare earth and twin and earth. The first twin and earth were 1/064 or 3/036 with 3/036 earth. This lasted for a long time before the requirement of earthing of lights. If a light had to be earthed a separate earth was run. The old requirement for lights to be earthed is if you could stand on an earthed position eg sink, bathtub and touch the light it had to be earthed, no aluminium ladders then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    While I have not seen Grey TPS sheathed cable here, the UK now uses "an overall sheath of grey PVC (BS 6004), or white for low smoke compound (BS 7211)"
    I've seen heaps of grey sheathed cables, we may not be talking about the same thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    The black sheathing, as I recall it, had the same look and feel of the white plastic.

    edit
    These cables are almost the universal type of electrical cable used in houses today. They have been in use since the late 1950s.Older TPS cables may have a black outer sheath while more modern cables have generally grey or white sheaths. Orange sheathedTPS cables are generally more common in industrial installations.

    http://icanz.org.au/wp-content/uploa...4.2016-WEB.pdf
    Thanks for the reference.
    However (while it is not your fault) it seems to contain at least one internal contradiction (on page 47) : -
    5 "TPS cables "have been in use since the late 1950s."
    6 "TPS cabling was introduced in the late 1970s,"

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    Mm ... this is as exciting as trainspotting or collecting blender manuals.
    Science is never settled,
    it advances one funeral at the time.
    Max Planck

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    Thanks for the reference.
    However (while it is not your fault) it seems to contain at least one internal contradiction (on page 47) : -
    5 "TPS cables "have been in use since the late 1950s."
    6 "TPS cabling was introduced in the late 1970s,"
    Yes, I noticed that as well and ignored the 1970 reference as an error.

  18. #18
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    TPS is also available in red, black and blue.

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    All off topic posts deleted.

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